Rodger McDaniel FILE

Rodger McDaniel

We need to talk about the epidemic ravaging Wyoming and America. Stupiditas is more contagious than anyone imagined. Unlike COVID-19, there’s no vaccine. Education is a preventative, but the already-inflicted don’t respond to it.

The name comes from Latin, meaning “lack of feeling or emotion” and “want of intelligence.” Translation? “We don’t know, and we don’t care that we don’t know.”

Symptoms mimic schizophrenia, paranoia, oppositional defiance disorder or pseudologia fantastica. Absence of fact-based reality is a common characteristic.

Stupiditas is diagnosed in the non-educated and well-educated (seldom in the well-meaning), including congressmen, state legislators, party officials, Fox talk-show comics and others of whom George Carlin spoke. “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of all Americans are stupider than that.”

How do stupiditas sufferers act? To diagnose the diseased, consider their claims that Trump won the 2020 election.

Despite overwhelming proof that the election was fair and honest, tormented stupiditas sufferers think the Chinese sent 40,000 Biden-ballots to Arizona, dead people voted unanimously for Biden, voting machines were rigged by a dead Venezuelan dictator and Trump-appointed judges were in on the fix. They claim Jan. 6 rioters were Antifa and Black Lives Matter protesters. Yet, they oppose a bipartisan fact-finding commission because it would find actual facts.

The problem should have been diagnosed decades ago when they called Social Security and Medicare “socialism” and claimed falsely that universal health care was a disaster, though it is successful in every other industrialized nation.

We ignored symptoms of stupiditas when they said Obama was a disloyal Kenyan-born Muslim. Had we treated the disease then, we’d have avoided the 2016 election of the “Typhoid Mary” of stupiditas. Instead, an entire national political party is inflicted with the disease, existing only to spread it.

The disease proliferated during the pandemic. They refused to wear masks. They refuse to be vaccinated. They watched more than half-a-million Americans die of coronavirus, claiming it was a hoax. They called the pandemic a “scamdemic.” Maybe they’re just plain old jerks. More likely they suffer from untreated stupiditas. Who knows?

They listened to the guy who said drinking Clorox would save lives. Then they made death threats against Dr. Fauci, a physician-scientist, immunologist, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to the president.

Inconsistent and irreconcilable opinions are common among stupiditas victims. Some believe white supremacists were mere tourists ambling peacefully through the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 while saying, in defiance of the evidence, “It wasn’t Trump supporters but violent members of Antifa and Black Lives Matter.”

Stupiditas causes their brains to swell with false narratives that white male Christians incur more discrimination than Blacks and other people of color, LGBTQ folks, Muslim-Americans and women.

They sit around bars, worrying aloud that Democrats plan to knock on their doors, demanding they hand over their guns. They believe that LGBTQ people “choose” the hate and violence visited on them by the stupiditas mob and that there is a hidden “gay agenda” to destroy their fourth marriage while causing their children to engage in same-sex relationships.

They tell each other that Democrats and Hollywood liberals murder children after drinking their blood and sexually abusing them in the basement of a D.C. pizza parlor. They can’t define “socialism,” but see it everywhere in anything with which they disagree.

Some with a high school education or less (or more) are convinced they know more about climate change than the 98% of scientists who have documented the severity of the threat.

Who can feign surprise? They made it their life’s work to latch on to every passing conspiracy theory. The crazier it sounds, the more it appeals to the stupiditas infirmed. “Who you gonna believe,” they ask, “Q or your lying eyes?”

Curiously, stupiditas inflicts willing members of only one of our political parties and does not cause those who have been infected to be hospitalized. However, it has caused American democracy to be put on life support.

Rodger McDaniel lives in Laramie and is the pastor at Highlands Presbyterian Church in Cheyenne. Email:

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